Unheralded

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — An Explosion Of Scoria Lilies In The Badlands: Rain Makes All The Difference

I’m home from the Badlands of North Dakota. Rain makes all the difference. In my lifetime, I’ve seen it this green, but not for a good long while. After these years of drought, the wildflowers are exploding. I don’t remember seeing so many scoria lilies (10-petal blazing star, aka Mentzelia Decapetala in the southern Badlands before). Oh and Lazuli Buntings everywhere.


Unheralded

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Postcards From The Grave

On Friday, I received postcards in the mail that my Mother and I had written decades ago to my grandparents at P.O. Box 172 Slope County, N.D. My Mother’s was in her Copperplate handwriting, addressed to her parents. Mine was in the handwriting of a little girl, addressed to my grandparents. My cousins are going through my aunt’s stuff and …


JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — I’m Home, Not Quite OK, But Home

Last Sunday, I woke up a little later than usual. I don’t go to the Y on Sundays — church day. I woke up shaking and shivering like crazy — I was freezing. And I had intense shooting pains in my right leg. Uh-oh, I said. The cellulitis is back. Damn. I got up, took a hot shower to try …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Creamy Tuscan Pheasant

Many people think of Italian cooking when they ponder delicious sauces served over pasta, lots of vegetables, olive oil and cheesy pizzas topped with a variety of meats. Ancient Etruscan, Greek and Roman cultures contributed to an Italian cuisine rich in all of those and more. Like all Italian cuisine, Tuscan food is rich in those attributes. Tuscany is also …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — City Council Meetings As Theater

At a Portland (Ore.) City Council meeting a decade ago, a local environmental activist concluded his remarks by dumping a load of garbage he’d collected onto the floor of the council chambers. Whatever the impact this stunt had on council members, it immediately moved Aaron Landsman, an out-of-town artist who was in the audience by chance. It suggested to him a …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Closure: A Return To Puget Sound With The Dopsons And An Homage To My Mother

Home safe in North Dakota. Three new life birds: Pigeon Guillemot, Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Marbled Murrelet. Many orcas and other wonders of the Puget Sound area and countless new memories of explorations and adventures with good friends. And finally I can say that I’ve been to British Columbia and the San Juan Islands.

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Day Darrell Fell Through A Hole In The Deck

HIS LAST WORDS BEFORE HE HIT THE GROUND WERE _________________________! Saturday was just a typical quiet midsummer weekend day at our house — I should say MY house because it’s been all mine for more than a week as Lillian traveled to the West Coast with her friend, Christine. I picked raspberries in the morning, stopped at the Bismarket and …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Is It Time For A New Constitutional Convention?

The 250th birthday of the United States is coming in four years. Already the great cultural institutions of America (National Endowment for the Humanities, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, prestigious universities) are thinking about the appropriate way to celebrate this important anniversary. We can expect fireworks, parades, festivals, orations — and protests, criticism, demands for a full-on national recognition of all …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — My New Life With An Electric Car: A Love Story

Humankind is sleepwalking toward an apocalypse and until a few years ago, I was one of the zombies. I had been aware of climate change for decades, first learning of it in the late 1980s through the work of NASA climatologist James Hansen. In 2006, I watched with considerable alarm “An Inconvenient Truth,” the documentary in which Al Gore called global …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Half A Dozen (Or So) Questions For Ginny Eastman Dullum

The city of Bismarck celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Not to date her or anything, but 50 years ago, my current wife, Ginny, helped plan the city’s centennial celebration. My how time flies! Like it or not. Ginny was born in Bismarck and grew up there. She graduated from the University of North Dakota, returned to Bismarck for work, where …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — A European’s Perspective On Gun Violence In America

This is another in an occasional series we are calling The de Tocqueville Interviews.* This summer, America’s unique, exasperating gun culture has taken center stage. On May 24, the Uvalde school shooting horrified the nation. Within a month, President Biden signed into law (above) the most substantial piece of gun safety legislation passed in the U.S. in decades. Yet on June 23, the U.S. …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 72: The Perennials And Tomatoes Take Center Stage

A deluge of magical rain these past weeks has made all the difference. That and two loads of mulch from the dump and some clearance bags of mulch from Runnings. Busy now, packing for an expedition with a woman friend. Countless lessons about packing from my Mother are informing and inspiring me today. More smiles now than tears. Stay tuned for news …

RUSS HONS: Photo Gallery — DockDogs

DockDogs is one of the fastest-growing sport on four legs. It was started in 2000 “to create a nationally recognized competitive sport based on rules and precedents in track and field competitions,” the organization’s website states. DockDogs brought the competition this past week to the Polk County Fair in Fertile, Minn. Grand Forks photographer Russ Hons was on hand for the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — If You Live Long Enough, Good Things Can Happen

I’m going to take a little time out today from politics and saving the Bad Lands to get a little personal. A good thing has happened for me this summer, a reunion with an old pal, and I’m feeling pretty happy about it. So I’ll tell you the story. Those of you who know me know that my heart slides …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Anyone who has raised a garden or grew up in a family that had one knows that nothing beats fresh veggies. The same be true of fruit. Picking an apple off a tree or raspberries from the canes and then eating them are one of life’s true pleasures. Now I know that not everyone can be as lucky as we …

TOM COYNE: Back In Circulation — The Fraternal Twins Of 2022

When our twins, Ashley and Patrick, were born over 30 years ago, my wife and I often got curious looks as our double stroller rolled through the neighborhood. “Are they identical?” some would ask. That is, until they noticed the pink and blue pajamas and were told their names. This year’s version of the Minnesota Twins would appear to be …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Peter Rivera And The Power Of The Drumbeat

Fifty years ago almost to the day, I rode my bike from our neighborhood, down the hill, past the courthouse to the only record store in Crookston, Minnesota, population 8,000. I had just been paid for my summer job, hoeing sugar beets, and would use my very modest salary, (a dollar for a mile-long row, as I recall) to buy …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — The History Behind The Separation Of Church And State In America

The overturning of Roe v. Wade and the striking down of a longstanding New York City gun law have received most of the attention at the close of this year’s U.S. Supreme Court, but many court watchers are equally focused on recent decisions about the separation of church and state in America. On June 27, 2022, in the case Kennedy v. Bremerton School …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Independent Thoughts After Independence Day

I love my country. Despite many missteps — slavery and Indian genocide being the two main stains on our record — America remains a bastion of freedom. But not necessarily common sense. This is a space I typically reserve for human-interest columns, the fun, foibles, idiosyncrasies and beauty of life. If you want my take on current events, that’s available …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 70: Here It Is July

Here It Is July at Red Oak House, and 2.75 inches of rain in two nights! And a few days ago, I dug up a shrub rose in an area that has to be re-worked and gifted it to my dear friend, Christine. She has planted it. Moved the clock and touched up the paint, and life goes on. Time …

TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — ‘Mrs. Brown’s Boys’

The latest guilty pleasure at our house — not that we need another one — is a BBC sitcom called “Mrs. Brown’s Boys.” It can be found on Britbox, a nice break from all those British murder mystery series. Actor/writer Brendan O’Carrol plays the foul-mouthed but kind-hearted head of a Irish household. In drag. Sort of Archie Bunker meets Dame Edna, …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Where Does The Lewis And Clark Trail Begin?

The late Stephen Ambrose liked to begin his lectures on the Lewis and Clark Expedition by saying that the men (and one woman) of the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery traveled “from sea to shining sea.” And yet typically, accounts of the journey begin with Lewis and Clark leaving St. Charles, Mo., on May 14, 1804, with three heavily laden boats, a couple of horses, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Peaches Help You Poop’

On my first trip to the grocery store, or to anywhere besides the recliner in my living room, after a 10-day hospital stay and 10 days of home confinement for treatment of a badly infected leg, I bought four peaches. California peaches, it said on the little label, not Georgia or Washington, the ones we prefer. But they were the …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — Freedom And Justice For All?

I was gone for two weeks traveling and return to a country very different than the one I left, thanks to U.S. Supreme Court rulings that question privacy, bodily autonomy, the ability to regulate weapons of war, the separation of church and state, rights of Indigenous people and the welfare of our planet, with the ability to conduct free and …

DAVE BRUNER: Photo Gallery — ‘Badlands Beauty’

Grand Forks photographer Dave Bruner and his wife, Sheila, went out to the Badlands in western North Dakota this past week to hike around the area, take in the Medora Musical and do some photography. “The area was so nice and green due to the timely rains this year. The wildflowers were out in full bloom and gave the landscape …

TIM MADIGAN: Anything Mentionable — Something To Say; Time To Say It

During the COVID years, my preoccupations have included, a) trying to learn to play the guitar and sing, b) confronting the lingering vestiges of old demons and c) becoming more familiar with the divine spark that I believe lives inside of me and every human being. The jury is still very much out when it comes to the guitar playing …

PAULA MEHMEL: Shoot The Rapids — God-Inspired Serendipity

Today would have been my 30th wedding anniversary. When I got married, I never imagined losing Steve twice to the same disease — first when our marriage ended and then when he died. I am the kind of person who uses anniversaries to reflect, and I can honestly say I will never regret my marriage. First, because I loved Steve …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — The Stubborn Catch-22 Of The U.S. Immigration Puzzle

The surge in migrants attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. along its southern border reached an all-time high in May. The 239,416 reported arrests surpassed the previous record, set just two months earlier, by almost 20,000 people. This chaos at the border isn’t going away, says Alex Nowrasteh, director of economic and social policy at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, …

TIM MADIGAN: When Climate Change Hits Home

In the past few years, I’ve taken a deep dive into the issue of climate change, reading scores of news accounts, scholarly articles and books on the topic. What I learned frankly terrified me. What was true and what was hyperbole? I recently asked one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Camille Parmesan, to help me separate one from the …

CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Quick Baked Beans

I’ve always been a fan of baked beans. One of my favorite renditions was my late Uncle Curt’s. He used to make them on Christmas Eve and other holidays. And, of course, he made them the traditional way, soaking his beans overnight before putting the dish together the next day. Baked beans are a staple of summer outdoor dining events …

LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Father’s Day 2022

Father’s Day 2022. Made a quick visit to my Pa’s grave (quick being a relative term considering the amount of road construction between my house and the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery this time of year). Where it is hot and I can see the hay bales across the road, and the hot prairie wind is blowing, but I can hear …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Indian Boarding Schools: Coming To Terms With History

It looks as if the United States is going to begin to come to terms with the dark legacy of the Indian boarding schools. On May 11, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Interior released volume one of an investigative report on the history and legacy of these schools, which existed to force Native American children to break with their Native communities and …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Future In Context — Prime-Time Politics: A Brief History Of Televised Hearings

The House of Representatives Jan. 6 select committee began what is billed as up to six televised hearings this past week, some of them in prime time, hoping that it can convince the American people of the gravity of the conspiracy that led to the storming of the U.S. Capitol weeks after the 2020 election and just 15 days before …